Hotel & Bike Tour to the North Croatian National Parks
(8 days/7 nights, up to approx. 241 mi./385 km by bicycle)
As a part of our newly developed individual tours programme, this tour is an ideal supplement to our usual boat and bike tours. Alone, in a couple or in a group of your choice, you can go traveling between selected hotels for one week. Your luggage will be transported for you, while you yourself cycle at your own speed, following pre-prepared instructions and supported by a GPS device.
This tour is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of this multifaceted and interesting country. We take you to the mid-range and high mountain regions of the Croatian hinterland.
A rough region of deep forests and stone deserts, where the bora wind has had a strong impact and where the snow is meters deep in winter is only 20 km away from the more or less developed tourist areas of the coast.
You cycle through three national parks en route, where the bear, wolf and lynx can still be encountered in the wild. The variety and beauty of nature will constantly surprise you, and the incredible vistas across the Croatian islands will stay with you for a long time.
The highlight of the tour are the famous Plitvice Lakes and their spectacular waterfalls, which are well known far beyond Croatia’s borders. The tour described here leads mainly along asphalted roads, though some forest tracks do make the use of a MTB worthwhile.
For more and updated info please visit: www.inselhuepfen.com/en/nak
|Culture: an insight into the traditional Croatian rural lifestyle|
|Nature: the Plitvice National Park with its spectacular lakes and waterfalls|
|Activity: a visit to the limestone cave Vrelo in Fužine|
|Gastronomy: try the best fruit of the forest strudel in Fužine|
1st Day Arrival at Fužine
You travel individually either by car as far as Fužine, by train to Rijeka or by plane to the airport of Rijeka or Zagreb. On request, we gladly organize a fee-based transfer from Rijeka train station or Rijeka or Zagreb airport to your hotel. You have the rests of the day for a short introductory bike tour along the three lakes, located in the immediate vicinity of the village, or in the surroundings. If you still have time, there are several possibilities to extend the bike tour. A detour to the 300 m-deep Vrelo Cave, which is only a few kilometers away and one of Fužine’s main attraction, is also a rewarding excursion. You spend the first night in a hotel in or near Fužine.
2nd Day Risnjak National Park (aprx. 34 mi./54 km and 3,300 ft./1,000 m of elevation)
After an invigorating breakfast at your hotel, you start your first cycle trip. The destination you aim for is Risnjak National Park. Ris is the Croatian word for lynx, so that Risnjak means something like “Place of the Lynx”. You reach the entrance to the park after about 16 mi./25 km. From here, you have the possibility to explore the park either on foot or by bike. There is a special trail for nature enthusiasts, where you can learn everything about the local fauna and flora. The park itself is home to many protected plant and animal species. Late in the afternoon, you return to your hotel for another night.
3rd Day Fužine – Otočac (aprx. 55 mi./88 km and 3,850 ft./1,200 m of elevation)
Before leaving your hotel today, please get your luggage ready for the transfer driver.Then, well strengthened by a hearty breakfast, you’re on your way, which takes you first along large fields and soon into a dense forest. Quite soon, right in the middle of the deepest woods, you come across a small, cozy restaurant named Vagabundo. The friendly owners are experts at creating delicious little snacks from what fields and woods supply. Even though it is still a bit early for lunch, you should not miss out on sampling a few tasty bits along with a cup of coffee. After more kilometers through a dense mixed forest such as it is rarely found in Europe anymore, you reach the hills sloping towards the Adriatic, which have partially been swept bare by the Bora. Here, you have breathtaking vistas across the islands of Kvarner Bay. Deep below, you recognize Krk and the moonscapes of Rab and Pag and on clear days, one see as far as Dugi Otok. The destination of this leg of the tour is the small village of Otočac at the Gacka River, which is well known for its abundance of trout. The night is spent in a hotel in Otočac.
4th Day Otočac – Plitvice Lakes National Park – Grabovac (aprx. 38 mi./61 km and 2,800 ft./850 m of elevation)
From Otočac you continue your journey towards the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is the largest national park in Croatia and the oldest in Southeast Europe. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. Through small villages you cycle through hilly landscape up to the forest belt of the Plitvice Lakes. Depending on your arrival time, the decision lies with you. You can either go on to Grabovac to your accommodation (12 km), check in there and later return by taxi to the National Park or stop in between to explore the National Park on foot before you cycle to Grabovac. Whatever you choose, let yourself be fascinated by the variety and lush greenery of the plants within the Plitvice Lakes National Park. You will be able to explore the otherwise unspoilt nature by using wooden footbridges, which have been specially constructed for this purpose. Admire the waterfalls cascading from one basin to the next. Discover the different fishes cavorting at the bottom of the clear lakes and marvel at the colourful dragonflies and butterflies that fill the air. In short, enjoy another wonderful day.
5th Day Grabovac – Slunj (aprx. 24 mi./39 km and 1,540 ft./470 m of elevation)
After an extensive breakfast you start the day. Today’s bike tour takes you along the Bosnian border through deep forests and small villages to Slunj, whose Rastoke district is known for its miniature Plitvice Lakes. Here the river Slunjčica branches into many smaller arms and flows through numerous cascades and smaller waterfalls into the Korana. Another special feature of the area are the numerous old water mills along the course of the river. You will spend the night in a hotel located in the middle of this romantic landscape.
6th Day Slunj – Karlovac (aprx. 42.5 mi./68 km and 2,100 ft./640 m of elevation)
After breakfast, you leave Slunj which, incidentally, just as the Plitvice Lakes, could be admired in the film version of Winnetou. An Indian village as well as the saloon were located in Slunj, and Mile Strk, a local villager, who is still a legend today, played the medicine man. Today’s tour takes you to Karlovac, which is one of the youngest cities in Croatia. Founded in 1579 at the confluence of four rivers, the fortress is considered an outstanding example of Renaissance architecture. The Baroque historical centre was heavily damaged in the war but has largely been restored in the last few years and offers now some attractive corners that are worth visiting. Give yourself some time in the evening to stroll around and taste a glass of the local Karlovacko beer.
7th Day All around Karlovac (aprx. 15.6 – 47 mi./25 – 75 km)
Today, you can choose your activities from a rich program. Because of its location at four rivers, the region around Karlovac offers various cycling tours of various lengths and grades of difficulty that we will show you. As an alternative, you have the possibility to participate through your local hotel in rafting tours, fishing courses, horseback excursions or hikes. Everybody can find something here to spend a pleasant and interesting day.
8th Day Return home or holiday extension
After breakfast, check-out and individual journey home – or you may prolong your hotel stay. On request, we organize a free return transfer to your first hotel in Fužine.
Those choosing to rent a hybrid bike will receive a reliable, low maintenance, aluminum frame bike in the suitable size. Our hybrid bikes are equipped with 28 inch hollow chamber rims with puncture-proof touring tires, high-quality derailleur gears and break systems, a carrier and a sturdy bike stand, touring saddle as well as mudguards and a pannier rack. All components are selected based on our twenty years of experience in bike tourism, insuring that they fulfill the necessary criteria to provide the rider with an uncompromised cycle experience. These high-quality hybrid bikes are rented for 80 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.
Clients who wish to be supported by a tail-wind and seek to hire an e-bike will receive a high-quality pedelec, powered mainly by a Bosch motor capable of covering long distances, and characterized by their light weight and great components. Alternative drive systems may also be used. Standard components of our e-bikes in varying frame sizes include, 28 inch hollow chamber rims with puncture-proof touring tires, high-quality derailleur gears and break systems, a carrier and a sturdy bike stand, touring saddle as well as mudguards and a pannier rack. With our e-bikes you will conquer the hills with a smile, they are a true declaration of independence for all who wish to cycle and seek the support of a little push. These high-quality hybrid bikes are rented for 180 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.
Full Suspension Mountain Bikes
For our mountain bike tours we use only high-quality full suspension rental bikes, with components perfectly suited to the Mediterranean terrain and the technical demands associated with it. In order to conserve energy levels on longer ascends and to maximize stoke on trail descents our lightweight fullys mainly host 27.5 inch rims, 140 – 150 mm travel, Fox shocks and suspension, Shimano or SRAM gear and break systems as well as a dropper post. These high-quality Fullsuspension MTBs are rented for 180 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.
Those who wish to climb effortlessly and save their strength for the downhill portion of the ride are well catered for with our e-MTB rentals. Our reliable 27.5 inch e-MTBs with wide and robust tires are the ultimate shredding machines. A strong Bosch drive train with extended range, 150 mm travel, Fox shocks and suspension, Shimano gear and brake systems as well as a dropper post make the e-MTB the trail lover’s best friend on our MTB tours in the Mediterranean. These high-quality e-mountain bikes are rented for 240 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.
Basic tour price
– from 1,090 euro per person (in a double room)
This individual hotel & bike trip is offered from May to September and can be started daily (on each day of the week).
• 7 x overnights with breakfast in double room in good to very good medium class hotels in the 3 – 4 Star range
• 6 individual bicycle tours according to programme
• GPS and printed road book with detailed map material and route descriptions for each bike tour
• Luggage transfer between hotels plus roadside assistance
• Parking space at the first hotel and transfer from Karlovac back to Fužine
Additonal optional services
• Surcharge for a single room: 300 euro (on request)
• Surcharge for half-board: 100 euro
• Exclusive transfers (on request)
• Rental bike with Ortlieb pannier: hybrid bicycle: 80 euro/week; e-bike: 180 euro/week (limited, on request); full suspension MTB (fully): 180 euro/week; full suspension e-MTB (E-fully): 240 euro/week (limited, on request) each with an air-pump, lock and basic tool kit
• Insurance against theft and damage of the rental bike: 21-gear hybrid bicycle: 10 euro/week; e-bike or fully: 20 euro/week (not insured: grossly negligent damages)
• Additional night with breakfast in Fužine or Karlovac (prices on request)
Not included in the base tour price
• Journey to Fužine
• Entrance fees for the national parks (per person):
Risnjak: 45 kuna (aprx. 6 euro)
Plitvice Lakes (subject to increase in price): 45 Kuna (aprx. 6 euro)
Plitvice Lakes (seasonal prices, subject to increase in price):
April + May as well as Oct. 100 Kuna (aprx. 14 euro) // June – Sept. 250 Kuna (aprx. 35 euro), after 4 pm 150 Kuna (aprx. 20 euro)
• Tips at the hotels and for the transfer drivers
• Lunch & dinner
• Special activities in Karlovac (payable on the spot)
For more and updated info please visit: www.inselhuepfen.com/en/nak